At first glance, you’d think these images come from an episode of the Twilight Zone, but you’re actually looking at the works of Australian artist Anna Di Mezza.
The Blue Mountains-based creative paints surreal artworks that transport you to another world or dimension. Her compositions often depict random elements – such as astronauts, icebergs, and housewives – mashed in collage-like settings.
It’s strange, yet oddly mesmerising to look at. What is even more alluring in her art is that there is no one way to decipher or give meaning to it. Anna leaves it to her viewers to find the explanation behind every surreal scene.
We recently talked to Anna to discover more about her work.
You have a very striking yet simple use of colour in your work: what is your philosophy behind colour in your art?
“I tend to be attracted to cooler colours, such as blue and green. A lot of my work is based on original vintage photos, which are black and white. Rather than replicate this, I like to play around with various tones of these colours. This aids in bringing out more of an emotive response than purely black and white could achieve.
“Pops of colour also appear unexpectedly in certain areas of the work to draw attention to a certain part of the painting or to emphasise the coldness of a certain atmosphere.”
Your latest series of work focuses on a blend of photorealism and vintage art. Where did the inspiration for this series come from?
“My inspiration comes from varied sources both visual and auditory. The artists Magritte and De Chirico are main influences of my work.
“I am fascinated by the human condition and all the drama it can entail. I am in awe of the filmic power of Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick for their story telling and cinematography.
“I greatly admire David Lynch, also. Watching his films is like a journey into a parallel universe, which is a theme that comes up often in my paintings. I also like the way his films are open-ended; the resolution of most of his films cannot be explained easily. I like to think that my work looks like a still from a film. Hopefully, the viewer would have questions in their mind about the works – and sometimes even answers.
“I am drawn to vintage images as I admire the beauty and pop culture of the mid-century. I like to place subjects of these images against unrelated backgrounds – mountains, icebergs, planets – which in turn give them a surreal twist.
“I don’t feel the need to explain what the paintings are about; the viewer can come to their own conclusions, thus giving an extended life to the work.”
Your Instagram page is a big part of your online portfolio: how careful are you in terms of curating this page and what work makes the cut?
“I am a relatively new user of Instagram. I am finding it a valuable tool in documenting my work in chronological order. The day a painting is complete, I will upload it. Basically, what I am working on at the time is what you get.
“My work can also be purchased on the website Eat Your Stew as giclee prints in various sizes.”
You’re based in the Blue Mountains. How important is your environment to the work you create?
“Before moving to the Mountains, I had been moving around every two years with my partner for various reasons. I was in the inner west, the eastern suburbs, and I even moved to Los Angeles for five years due to my husband’s work at Walt Disney TV animation.
“We settled in the Blue Mountains upon our return eleven years ago where we raised a young family and have been here ever since. The Blue Mountains have provided me with a sense of tranquility and peace more than any other place I have lived in.
“The lack of the frenetic hustle and bustle aids in keeping me stress free as well as the amazing views we find of the valley which is a ten minute walk down our road. I call it my big room with a blue roof.
“Who could not be inspired by such surroundings?”